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Discussion Starter #1
So yesterday we got our BEAUTIFUL Samson - 9 weeks SP male! And my first
Question is: is growling normal? Not necessarily during play either. Tried to pet him while he was about to go to sleep and he growled😂 The breeder (who had two very well behaved dogs) said that growling is a no no and should be addressed.

Also my 5 year old is afraid of him (wuuut) and off course our puppy uses that to be “scary” and barks.

Anyone have any experience???

Im writing this half asleep so apologies for any typos..
 

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Well now how does your five year old like being "petted" when he is half asleep. If startled out of being halfway out of a restful state would make me growl too. Also I am not saying this is how you petted, but do be aware that many dogs really don't like being patted on the head or hugged. I have taught my poodles to accept having people's hands on their heads by petting and treating. Since mine are out in public a lot they need to accept that from strangers. My dogs accept hugs but don't love them.

As to your young human and his childhood dog you want that to be a set of very fond memories for decades to come. One of the best ways you can ensure this is to have your child be a partner in training your puppy. Ian Dunbar has some really good material on this general concept at Dog Star Daily.

Remember also that this puppy has only been with you for a bit over a day now. Don't push him too hard. He is very confused about leaving his mom and litter mates. He doesn't really know you and he may be a little "raw" just now.
 

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Welcome home, Samson!

Two days after we brought her home, Peggy growled at our vet. We thought we had a broken puppy, but, after doing an assessment, our trainer felt this was an issue of "trigger stacking" — basically meaning she'd been pushed too far, too fast, by too much scary stimuli. And being scooped up by the vet for a hug and then restrained on a cold metal table was her breaking point. She now loves going to the vet (though she's not yet had her scary spay, which I'm dreading).

Yes, the growling episode should be addressed. But not the growling itself. You don't punish a puppy for being afraid or tired or overwhelmed. You give him a little space. Keep the energy calm. Make sure he has a quiet spot to retreat to when he needs to. Plan lots of naps. And give him some time.

If he starts showing a pattern of aggression, that would be worrisome. Puppies should not be aggressive. But speaking up for himself when he's frightened or uncomfortable is not aggressive, and your job now is to help him feel safe and comfortable in his new world.

Puppies of that age can and should sleep up to 20 hours a day, so use his many nap times to read Ian Dunbar's puppy book cover to cover. :)

 

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I agree with Lily and Peggy.

Your puppy is in many ways like your five year old. Sometimes he feels like the biggest, baddest monster on the planet. "666, ALL SHALL COWER! FEAR ME!" Sometimes he's tired and scared and wants his mommy.

Growling can be an appropriate way for a dog to say its not comfortable. Correct whatever is making the dog uncomfortable instead of focusing on the growling at this stage. Put him to bed if he's tired. Move your kid away if he's feeling stressed. When he's feeling unhappy, it's better for him to tell you with his voice than with his teeth.

At this stage his instincts will be telling him to practice the skills he might need as a big dog: play fighting, growling, wrestling, biting, running, chasing, carrying. He will try to practice on you, your child, your cat, and any other creature available. (RAWR, I WILL BARK UNTIL YOU FLEE IN TERROR.) As with any young creature, he needs to learn when it is appropriate to use his talents.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your response. Just to make things clear, we did not punish him at all❤ He’s just a baby. But we don’t know what’s normal and what’s bad behavior is all. He wasn’t asleep so I didn’t wake him, he was tired though.

I guess it’s like having your first baby - you just don’t know😂
 

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A puppy especially if your first one or first in a long time is a lot like parenting your first child. You do things right, sometimes you make mistakes but generally it is all good in the end. Ask questions when ever you need to.
 

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This is why good temperaments are so important: They're much harder for us humans to screw up. :)

I think there's definitely an extra level of trickiness when you have young children at home with a puppy. They can have a hard time respecting naptime, and their unpredictable movements and little bodies are positively tantalizing to playful, teething pups.

Then again, they also make tireless playmates! Lucky Samson. :)

Can't wait to see pics.
 
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